Chocolate brownie cookies–soft on the inside and chewy around the edges, these brownie-esque cookies are sandwiched around a delectably soft, easy, no-churn Nutella ice cream which in turn is drizzled with a thick, slightly salted homemade caramel sauce. Be prepared to get your hands messy.
When I was younger, my cousins from Massachusetts would often visit over the summer for about a week at a time. They were always fun visits scattered with memorable moments (I have a very distinct memory of my older, teenaged-at-the-time cousin being chased by our mean old-man of a roosters and leaping like a child onto a picnic table for safety), and more than once the days ended on our front porch in the early hours of the morning, the lights off to not draw mosquitoes, our ribs hurting from the laughter.
They spoke with a smattering of Bostonian-expressions (and tried to tell me that I had a bit of a Southern drawl, which I believe is unlikely) but more clearly than anything I remember they used the term “wicked” a lot.
Things were “wicked” awesome, “wicked” hard, “wicked” cool, and I was “wicked” jealous of this dark, sharp-edged jewel of a word that sparked so colorfully and easily from their tongues. The word sounded simply poetic–so much better than just saying things were “really” cool or “super” hard, and though my sister and I would jokingly imitate the expression, I always felt little pangs of jealousy that I could never use the word without sounding preposterously awkward.
Until I made these, and the first thing that flashed into my head like a lightning bolt was that these ice cream sandwiches are wicked good.
They are unflinchingly, down to your toes, wicked-goodness, a fitting dessert to accompany the descriptor like nothing else. Perhaps a shade dangerous in their deep decadence, mysterious in the slightly brittle swirls of Nutella melting into the pillow-soft ice cream base, magical in the bold, extravagantly rich caramel sauce that will bleed out all over your hands (especially if you warm the caramel before serving–highly recommended).
They are temptation and debauchery embodied in chocolate and caramel–a hedonist’s daydream, an unparalleled menage-a-trois of flavor. Chewy brownie cookies give way to creamy Nutella ice cream (well-saturated with the chocolate hazelnut spread) that’s been cloaked in still-warm-from-the-stove homemade caramel–viscous and sticky, lightly salted, worth its weight in gold.
Initially I’d hoped that these could be easily pre-sandwiched, frozen, wrapped, and then removed and eaten at leisure, but no, these are definitely some-assembly-required treats. If you freeze them, the cookies become too tough and brittle (you want cookies that are soft and chewy, not rock-like), and the caramel loses its soft viscosity and the richness of flavor when frozen. Assembly necessary, and very, very worthwhile.
I’ve broken this recipe up into the three parts that make it–Brownie/cookies, Nutella Ice Cream, and Caramel Sauce (which, I strongly recommend you bookmark for future use) but I hope you’ll try them together as intended.
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup Nutella + 1 Tbsp separated
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Stir together condensed milk, 1 cup Nutella, and vanilla extract until completely combined.
- In separate bowl (preferably a chilled metal bowl), whip cream with electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form.
- Add Nutella mixture to whipped cream, stirring briefly and then folding in until completely combined.
- Pour into breadpan and swirl with remaining Tbsp Nutella.
- Cover with clear wrap (or pour into other resealable container) and freeze at least 6 hours before serving.
- 1/2 cup salted sweet cream butter cut into Tbsp-sized pieces, 1 stick
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cups light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs + 1 yolk lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In large, micro-wave safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate chips. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir, repeating at 15 second increments until chocolate and butter are completely melted.
- Remove from microwave and allow to cool 10 minutes before proceeding.
- Once butter/chocolate mixture has cooled, stir in sugars, eggs and vanilla.
- In separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until completely combined.
- Drop cookie dough by rounded 1 1/2" scoop onto parchment paper, pressing down slightly. Bake 10-11 minutes, allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to cookie rack to cool completely.
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 5 Tbsp butter cut into Tbsp-sized pieces
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In medium-sized saucepan over low heat, stir together brown sugar, cream and butter until butter is completely melted and ingredients are well combined.
- Turn heat up to medium-high, stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil. Continue to stir constantly while mixture boils for one minute.
- Remove from heat (continue to stir for another minute or the mixture may still burn to the pan).
- Allow to cool 5 minutes then stir in vanilla and salt.
- Allow to cool before serving.
- Caramel can be stored in resealable container in fridge and re-heated.
- To assemble cookie sandwiches, scoop Nutella ice crema on top of one cookie, drizzle with caramel sauce, and then sandwich between a second cookie. Serve immediately.
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